‘Incredibly impressive’ Paralympic Refugee team heads to Paris — Global Issues


“All Paralympians have stories of incredible resilience, but the stories of these athletes and their journeys as refugees who survive war and persecution to compete in the Paralympic Games are particularly awe-inspiring,” said Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

These organizations represent more than 120 million forcibly displaced people and 1.2 billion people with disabilities worldwide. eight athletes are based in six countries and will compete in six sports: Para Athletics, Para Powerlifting, Para Table Tennis, Para Taekwondo, Para Triathlon and Wheelchair Fencing.

“These athletes have persevered and showed incredible determination to reach Paris 2024 and give hope to every refugee in the world“The Refugee Paralympic Team shines a spotlight on the transformative impact of sport,” added Mr Parsons.

‘Never stop dreaming’

Now living in Italy, Amelio Castro Grueso is set to compete in wheelchair fencing in Paris. After enduring the death of his mother in Colombia at the age of 16, he faced new tragedy four years later when he lost his legs in a car accident.

He was then forced to flee his home country due to threats against him, arriving in a wheelchair in a new country, without speaking the language and with no one to help him.

After a long recovery, he vowed to write a book to share his story, but realized that more people would read it if he were a medal-winning athlete.

One of his greatest sporting achievements to date is winning bronze in the men’s epee category B at the 2024 America’s Wheelchair Fencing Championships in Brazil.

His experience has taught him that the most important lesson in life is to never give up, even in the face of tremendous adversity.

“Never stop dreaming and no matter how hard your life is or the moment you face, don’t give up, keep fighting. The day you least expect it, you will find that light at the end of the tunnel and that beautiful moment will come when everything changes for the better,” he said.

‘An example for us all’

Among the other participants is a Syrian refugee Ibrahim Al-HusseinAfter losing his leg in an explosion in 2012 while trying to save his friend during the Syrian civil war, he fled to Greece in a wheelchair with no money in his pocket.

These are the third consecutive Paralympic Games for Mr. Hussein representing the Paralympic Refugee Team.

In the meantime, Guillaume Junior Atangana from Cameroon is preparing for his second Paralympic Games, after finishing fourth in the 400 meters T11 at Tokyo 2020.

Although he originally wanted to be a great football player, he switched to athletics when he lost his eyesight.

This year he will set out with his guide and fellow refugee Donard Ndim Nyamjua.

‘Never stop believing’

While the stories of all participants reflect the immense adversity they have experienced, one message remains constant: nothing is impossible.

“The Refugee Paralympic Team provides a model for all of us. No matter how difficult their circumstances, these athletes have found a way to compete at the highest level of Paralympic sport,” said the leader of the Refugee Paralympic Team Nyasha Mharakurwa said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top